Photo Gallery 013: Q&A With Ten Chinese Programmers
摘要： What kind of questions will programmers be asked by their friends and relative back in hometown during the Spring Festival? Are you ready to be bombarded with such questions? What techniques do you have to answer these questions?
[Our aim is to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry through TMTpost’s new column Photo Gallery: whether young ambitious entrepreneurs who have just found their place in the world of business, star investors who walk through different venues, programmers who spend hours of time writing codes in front of the computer screen, or Internet operators, geeks, even delivery guys…It is their collective efforts and devotion that constitute the Internet world we live in right now, so their moments are worth recording, and remembering. Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth; photos are free, but they are also full of traps. Therefore, only we present the images we see, and you are free to have your own understanding of these individuals.]
What do programmers look like in your eyes? A bunch of people who do mysterious things, who stay up late into night, who look quiet, cold or even dull outside, who keep fixing bugs, who can repair computers, who review codes even on the annual meetings… This bunch of people are the very foundation of any product. It is they who make sure that a product is “friendly” to its users. According to IDC, there are, including amateurs, at least around 1.85 million programmers across China in 2014.
In TMTpost Photo Gallery 013, we interviewed 10 Chinese programmers and invited them to talk about questions they are questioned most back in hometown and recommend to our readers their “secret weapons”. Some of them are still interns, others are experienced senior executives, etc.
Qi Tian, aged 25, was still serving her internship in AVC as a data mining engineer. She came from Langfang, Hebei province, and was in her second year of graduate study.
"I pretty much liked my job, since I can apply what I have learned when majoring in library and information science back in college,” she told me. Since Qi Tian started her internship in AVC in July, 2015, she has been doubting if she was competent enough for this job and if she had chosen the right career path. However, she managed to stick to her job with the support and encouragement of her product manager and “mentor”, the guy who taught her some of the basics and helped her adapt to her work in AVC. Up to now, the project that impressed her most was “Evaluation Assistant”, through which she learned the most and became much more familiar with algorithm, project procedure, etc. “I almost burst into tears when the project came to an end,” she recalled.
When she goes back to her hometown, and meets her relatives and friends who bombard her with questions such as “What is data mining? What are you supposed to dig after? What tools do you use in the process…”, she would try to explain through a metaphor: digging data is pretty much like digging a goldmine. You need tools and ways to dig a goldmine. Likewise, you also need some tools and ways to dig data.
She was learning new things at every moment, and her notebook is full of notes she gathered during work. Her greatest challenge comes from the Internet that’s constantly changing. “There are always new things for me to learn, so I’ve got to elevate myself, accumulate experiences and perfect my skills every day,” said she.
Cui Haiqing, aged 39, is a co-founder of Baofeng Mojing, producer of a VR social game Paradise Kingdom. He came from Anyang, Henan province and has been working in the VR industry for over 15 years.
What should VR games look like? Is the combination of 3D game, SDK and double screen be called VR game? For Mr. Cui, “VR games should be able to give players a sense of a world of make-believe both mentally and physically, so the refreshing rate must be very low. As a developer, programmer of VR games, I have to, first of all, be very familiar with VR games and be able to improve the player experience first, and then make VR games more beautiful and attractive to players,” he explained.
Many kids of his relatives would turn to him for VR games during the Spring Festival, some of them would even ask him if they could find their girlfriend in VR games. “You are still too young to have a girlfriend,” he would reply them straightforwardly.
Mr. Cui has been developing games for 15 years, and is a super fan of games himself. Most useful stuffs in his offices are related to games.
Ren Changyan, aged 26, is a big data engineer in Didi Chuxing, head of Didi’s big data platform. He came from Liaocheng, Shandong province, and has been working in relevant industry for five years.
Mr. Ren was very good at math back in junior high, which laid a pretty good foundation for him when majoring in computer science in college. “The nature of computer science is actually math. When I was in my freshman year, I loved programming, and would sit in the computer classroom for as long as 6 years programming,” he recalled. After joining Didi for two years, he’s already been heading the big data team of Didi. “I was always amazed at Didi’s rapid development, so I’m very much optimistic about Didi’s development in the following two years,” he predicted.
Every time he went back home, he’s always asked for help to download music items for square dance. “My mom loves square dancing, and when her dance-mates learned that I studied computer science, they thought that I must be expert in downloading music items for square dancing,” he explained, “If I refused, they would go back and say that I must not be a good student back in college since I can’t even download music items for square dancing.”
Mr. Ren loves kicking shuttlecocks. For him, he need to be alert enough physically to catch and kick shuttlecocks, Likewise, he needs to be alert enough mentally as a programmer to deal with different bugs and problems.
Su Mu, aged 38, is an algorithm engineer in Unisound. He’s from Beijing, and has been working in the industry for over 15 years.
Mr. Su is a Ph.D in speech recognition. He joined Unisound when it was first established in June, 2012. “Things didn’t go quite well in these two years, since our company is in a transformative stage. I myself also has to do a lot of experiments and face up to a series of failures. Nevertheless, I did make some progress and completed a model after several setbacks,” he recalled.
As an expert in speech recognition, he would be surrounded by kids with all kinds of questions during the Spring Festival. Some of them would even ask if he could develop a computer that can understand what a cat is talking about.
Soundmax and earplugs are indispensable part of his leisure time and his own “secret weapons”.
Tang Huai, aged 26, is an Android engineer at Juzi Entertainment. He came from Chibi, Hubei province, and has been working in relevant industry for five years.
When he was young, Mr. Tang would dream of becoming an inventor. He kind of realize his dream when he decided to become a programmer. “Programmers invent new things through the Internet. It’s interesting to invent things in this way,” he suggested, “Technologies evolve every day and there are always new things for me to learn in order to catch up.”
Mr. Tang is proud to recommend Juzi Entertainment to his friends and relatives. “I joined Juzi Entertainment when it was just established, and I felt a sense of achievement through this job,” Mr. Tang said proudly, “I am in no hurry to get married, and I can wait until 30 to worry about such things.”
For him, programmers are not at all dumb and boring. He loves playing skateboarding, listening to music, go hiking and skiing. “Girls love marring programmers because they are honest and mature. But if programmers that also have hobbies will find it easier to find a good wife,” he concluded. He’s speaking the truth: the guitar solo he played at the annual meeting of the company won him a lot of fans in the company.
Wang Hexin, aged 29, is a mobile-end engineer of Turing Robot. He came from Heze, Shandong province, and has been working in the industry for five years.
A competent programmers of robots need to have a good grasp of technologies from voice, picture and face recognition to big data. Mr. Wang and his colleagues’ goal to develop a robot as smart as Big Max.
Science movies help Mr. Wang better explain what he’s been doing to his relatives and friends. Some of his relatives are herdsmen, so they would ask him if he could develop a robot that can help them tend the sheep.
His “secret weapon” is nothing but his own enthusiasm towards innovation. He’s devoted almost all his energy to his career, and is going to continue to do so.
Zhong Wenchang, aged 37, is the co-founder and CTO of Moduo VR. He came from Taibei and has been working in the industry for 12 years.
Back in Taiwan, Mr. Zhong worked in IPTV for some time. In addition, he’s the first person in Taiwan to completely transplant Android to hardware. In 2011, he wanted to change the environment, pay a visit to different places of interest in Beijing, so he packed up a bag and become one of the millions of Beijing drifters. For the past few years, he worked in SONY for a while, and launched his own startup once. When he saw the huge potential of VR technologies, he joined Moduo VR in 2015. “VR technologies can drag people into a world of make-believe. VR and AR technologies must be the next fad in the Internet world. Before that, we have to set up some standards, make VR and AR products much more affordable, improve the computing ability of computers and create as many as possible user scenarios,” Mr. Zhong explained.
"I do feel lonely sometimes as most Beijing drifters will do, but I'm still young and I want to gather as much experience as possible," he explained. When he came back to Taiwan, Mr. Zhong would love to share his experiences in Beijing and tell them how motivated he was in Beijing.
Mr. Zhong sticks to the simplistic principle. When he needs to go outside, he would only take a USB drive, a book, some lollipops and a wash bag along with him.
Zhou Wenshuai, aged 25, is a fron-end engineer of Bglamor. He came from Yangquan, Shanxi province, and has been working in the industry for two years.
In Mr. Zhou’s hometown, most parents wished their kids to get employed in coal mines after graduation, and his parents are no exception. “When I was in my sophomore year, coal mine industry met a huge trouble in Shanxi province. That’s when I was introduced to programming by a relative who happened to be a programmer himself. At first, I would often dream of programming at night, and I really liked that,” he recalled. After graduation, he managed to get employed in this industry and his hard work paid off.
In October, 2015, he joined BGlamor and became a front-end engineer. “I am pretty much well-paid, and I can learn a lot from my colleagues who are expert in their fields,” said he. Few people in his hometown understand what he’s been doing for work, so he needs to explain very patiently what H5 means, and answer questions like “Are there A5 or B5?”
Mr. Zhoiu’s “secret weapon” are lots of snacks and an air humidifier. “Snacks can help me refresh myself, while an air humidifier can prevent my face from being too dry,” he explained.
Zhang Yuchong, aged 24, is a back-end engineer of Wondering, a UGC-based mobile film adaptation community. He came from Beijing, and has been working in the industry for two years.
Mr. Zhang majored in automation in college. He loves writing codes, believing that codes never lie.
“It’s a lot easier to get along with machines, since I understand the machines I made well, while the machines can also understand me as well,” he explained. Before he joined Wondering in 2014, he worked in Baidu for a while. Since junior high, he’s been with his girlfriend for 8 years. “Programmers aren’t necessarily not romantic,” he tried to get rid of the stereotype towards programmers.
For some people, programmers must be able to fix computers, so he’s been often asked to help repair computers of his relatives during the Spring Festival.
Mr. Zhang’s “secret weapon” is a machine-like keyboard. Of course, he could fix computers, whether hardware or software. But he told us that he could do so much more that these.
Zhao Zhong, aged 32, is the Web engineer of TMTpost. He came from Beijing and has been working in the industry for 10 years.
Mr. Zhang studied C language back in college and was more familiar with hardware programming. He didn’t get familiar with Internet until a relative of him asked him for a favor to make a website for his enterprise. “While he took it for granted that I must know how to make a website since I majored in Internet, I learned by myself and from the very beginning,” he recalled. After this experience, Mr. Zhao continued to make several more websites until graduation and became a professional WEB engineer after he graduated.
Many friends and relatives around him have plans to build an online retailing platform and would turn to him for help on various parties and gatherings. “For them, building a website is as easy as making a PPT,” he joked.
He is also very patient, and would give suggestions accordingly. “I shall first get to know their need, make it clear if they need a website or just an open online shopping platform and then give my suggestions,” he explained.
After working in the industry for ten years, he realized that he was most excited every time new tools, new language standards, and technologies emerged. Likewise, he also had a craze for fruits, since they could also brought him a sense of freshness. “If my brain is like an engine, my keyboard is like the tool, then fruits could be the best catalyst I ever had. They give me a good mood and new ideas, which enables me to work more efficiently,” he explained.
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Aiming to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry
Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth
Photos are free, but also full of traps
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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @fliesslaughterhouse, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.